Which cat grooming supplies are right for you and your cat?

There are many choices in the cat grooming supplies and brush aisle of the pet store, but most cat grooming tools will fall into these categories:

Soft bristle brushes and Zoom Grooms: These are good for cats who don’t like the “scratchiness” of a regular brush, and short haired cats. The Zoom Groom is a rubber brush that builds up static electricity as you run the brush through the cat's fur, and the hair clings to the rubber nubs. A soft bristle brush is a milder brushing sensation, but will not be effective in longer haired cats in preventing mats.

Rakes: Rakes are good for medium to longhair cats because they can get down into the coat and remove any tangles or hair buildup that can result in mats. They are generally a handle that connects to a straight bar with short metal nubs or teeth.

Stiff bristle brushes and slicker brushes: Stiff bristle brushes come in many sizes and styles, with wooden teeth or metal teeth. Slicker brushes are generally rectangular and slope up on the end. If the brush has metal teeth, make sure that they are rounded or covered by plastic tips on the ends. If the ends are too sharp the cat will have a bad, or possibly painful, experience and come to associate brushing with the uncomfortable situation – making future grooming more difficult.

Shedding blades: These can look very intimidating at first glance! They are a handle with a metal loop on the end with teeth. They are very effective in removing loose hair and dandruff in short hair cats. They can be used on longhairs, but combine the shedding blade with a rake or stiff bristle brush to get down to the undercoat as well.

Try to choose a grooming tool appropriate for the size of your cat - a small female Siamese many need a kitten brush, but a husky male Maine Coon may end up needing a small dog sized brush instead.

If you have a multi cat household or a new cat, one cost-effective solution is a two-in-one brush that has a soft brush on one side and a stiff bristle brush on the other. These are usually cheaper than buying both brushes separately. There are also cat grooming kits available with an assortment of brushes in them.

Before purchasing a brush for a new pet whose sensitivity level you are not familiar with (or trying a new brush on your cat), ask the store what their return or exchange policy is for their cat grooming supplies in case your cat does not like it.

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